I really enjoyed Pro Night last year (insane noise notwithstanding) but that was mostly due to not having access to many of those breweries. Several things I was excited to try.
but usually, yeah, it's way below Club Night on the enjoyment scale.
I'll echo that the more NHC's you go the more you want to go again. By comparison I think the shine rubs off of an event like GABF after that initial awesomeness of walking into that enormous room.
so in regards to having to be AHA members, are there deadlines, and have any of them passed? can you sign up for AHA membership when you buy? Same with the competition entry AHA member requirements, must you be a member x days previous to registering entries?